44th Annual Atlanta Film Festival – Sept. 17th – 27th

Atlanta Film Festival 9 17 - 27 2020

Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Film Festival

In the year of COVID-19, the Atlanta Film Festival is doing something different. Celebrating its 44th year, the Atlanta Film Festival, the region’s preeminent celebration of cinema, is hosting a combination of online programing integrated with drive-in screenings at three different locations. The event takes place from Thursday, September 17 to Sunday, September 27, 2020.

The long-running festival has always been a distinguished event, recognized as one of the ’25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World’ and one of the ’50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee’ by MovieMaker Magazine.

The event will have fifteen narrative and ten documentary features, some of which will be making their festival premieres. The festival is also known for its short film categories and is one of the few festivals in the country that offer Academy Award-qualifying for all three of the categories: Narrative, Documentary, and Animated.

The festival received over 8,500 works from 118 counties, with fifty-five percent of the submission coming from female directors and fifty percent from filmmakers of color.

Pullman Yard

Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Film Festival

Films will be shown online and at three different drive-in locations: Pullman Yard (225 Rogers St NE, Atlanta, GA 30317), The Plaza Theatre Drive-In (1049 Ponce De Leon Ave Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306), and Dad’s Garage Theatre Drive-In (569 Ezzard St SE, Atlanta, GA 30312)

The drive-in screenings include The Outside Story, a comedy starring Brian Tyree Henry and Sonequa Martin-Green; In the Cold Dark Night, a true-crime documentary feature set in Griffin, Georgia; and the festival premiere of Fandango at the Wall, a documentary feature executive produced by Carlos Santana, Quincy Jones, and Andrew Young.

The festival opens with Blast Beat, a drama about two young brothers from Colombia struggling to fit into their new lives in suburban America with a cast that includes Diane Guerrero, Wilmer Valderrama, Moises Arias, and Daniel Day Kim. The closing night film is The Glorias, the story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s itinerant childhood’s influence on her life as a writer, activist, and organizer for women’s rights worldwide. The film features an outstanding cast, including Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, Janelle Monáe, Timothy Hutton, and Bette Milder.

Blast Beat

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures

The festival also runs the popular Creative Conference. This year the focus will be on Masterclass Conversations and Panels with Hollywood Directors, Show-runners, Producers, Writers, Actors, Production Designers, Editors, and Cinematographers. The online workshops, panels, talks, and demos will delve into the world of filmmaking, focusing on topics such as screenwriting, pitching, acting, producing, casting, funding, and distribution, and how they all come together to make a film or television episode. Panelists include director Jennifer Lynch (American Horror Story), director Angela Barnes Gromes (One Day at a Time), director Andrew Erwin (I Can Only Imagine), cinematographer James Laxton (Moonlight), producer Jeff Keating (Follow Me), composer Ben Hoist (13th Sign) and executive Andrea Bibbs (Sr. Director of Diversity & Inclusion Strategy at WarnerMedia News & Sports).

The Glorias

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

To view the schedule of the lineup of films, go to www.atlantafilmfestival.com/schedule or download the brand-new Atlanta Film Festival app in the Apple App Store or on Google Play. Tickets and festival badges are on sale now at www.AtlantaFilmFestival.com.

The Atlanta Film Festival is the chief annual operation of the Atlanta Film Society (ATLFS), one of the oldest and largest organizations dedicated to the promotion and education of film in the United States, which enriches the community through screenings, classes, workshops, and other events year-round.